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India Ships Wheat to Afghanistan via Iran’s Chabahar Port, Opening New International Trade Route

Oct. 31, 2017 (EIRNS)—India has sent its first shipment of wheat to Afghanistan via Chabahar Port in Iran, located in the southeast corner of Iran on the Gulf of Oman. "The shipment is part of a commitment made by the Government of India to supply 1.1 million tons of wheat for the people of Afghanistan on grant basis," said the Indian Foreign Ministry in a statement. "Six more wheat shipments will be sent to Afghanistan over the next few months." As of now, the wheat will be transported to Afghanistan by road from Chabahar through the Zahedan-Zaranj-Kabul Highway. India has built the Zahedan-Zaranj highway and is in the process of developing the Chabahar Port.

The first shipment establishes the India-Afghanistan trade route skirting Pakistan, which does not allow any land link between India and Afghanistan. According to Express News Service (ENS) today, the wheat shipment establishes three other objectives. To begin with, the activation of Chabahar Port shows India’s keenness to get the port functioning. Also, Chabahar speaks for India’s commitment to improving Indo-Iran relations. There were apparently some apprehensions in Iran that under alleged U.S. pressure, India would slow down improving its relations with Iran. The shipment also clears up that issue.

In addition,

"Chabahar Port will also improve Afghan-Iran partnership and provide a crucial leverage for Kabul, as a transit between Central Asia and the Arabian Sea. It could further link Russia and provide another warm water outlet for Moscow. For the Afghans, Chabahar is not just about Indo-Afghan trade; it is an opening of a huge new world,"

ENS wrote about India and Iran’s landlocked neighbor.